Target: Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin
Goal: Criticize recent attempts to blame mental illness for her son’s arrest.
Known for her controversial views, Sarah Palin is making headlines once again as she recently blamed her son’s arrest on post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. This mental illness is a serious matter, and using it as an excuse for poor judgment and dangerous behavior is an insult to the many U.S. soldiers who are currently struggling with this disease.
According to police, Track Plain allegedly punched his girlfriend in the face before threatening to kill himself with an AR-15 assault rifle. Speaking at a rally for presidential candidate Donald Trump, Sarah Palin said “My son, like so many others, they come back a bit different… They come back hardened, they come back wondering if there’s that respect for what it is their fellow soldiers and airmen and every other member of the military have so sacrificially given to this country.”
Palin’s comments have been condemned by veterans who have struggled with PTSD. These soldiers and advocates on their behalf have made it clear that Track Palin’s actions shouldn’t be excused by an illness that effects about ten percent of the U.S. military. “Palin is using PTSD as an excuse to shift blame away from her son’s domestic violence,” said Brandon Friedman, a former employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs. He added, “She portrayed her son as the victim, but never talked about his girlfriend, apparently crying and hiding under a bed because he beat her.”
Sarah Palin’s remarks are nothing more than a tactic designed to deflect attention from her son. Post-traumatic stress disorder has had a devastating effect, as a report from the Department of Veterans Affairs revealed that 22 veterans commit suicide daily. This is a dangerous mental illness, but Palin insists on using it as an excuse for her son’s mistakes. Sign the petition below to make it clear to Palin that her insensitive remarks will not be tolerated.
Dear Mrs. Palin,
At a recent campaign rally, you made comments alleging that post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, was at fault for your son Track’s arrest. This mental illness is a serious matter, and using it as an excuse for poor judgment and dangerous behavior is an insult to the many U.S. soldiers who are currently struggling with this disease.
In reality, PTSD makes a person much more likely to harm themselves than others; a recent report from the Department of Veterans Affairs revealed that 22 veterans commit suicide daily. Your remarks portrayed your son as the victim, but you entirely ignored the real victim: the woman that he allegedly beat.
You also suggested that President Barack Obama was at fault when you indicated soldiers do not feel that the president supports them. This only furthers the ignorant nature of your comments, as the Veterans Affairs budget has reached a record high during his presidency. Furthermore, just last year, Obama signed a bill to give veterans increased access to mental health care. While your son’s situation is unfortunate, it is time for you to realize that his mistakes cannot simply be explained away by the system’s failure to help him—he made his choices, and now he must live with the consequences. Please do not politicize PTSD, as the trivialization of the matter will only hurt veterans already suffering from this disease.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore